About

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Bio

Robert Walton is “an original and talented thinker and theatre maker” (The Times, UK), who has created, directed and devised over 30 shows.  His work spans theatre, installation, writing and media art. A creative trailblazer, Robert has been credited with creating “the world’s first piece of iPad theatre” (The Independent, UK) and has presented his work in the USA, United Kingdom, Europe and Australia.

Since relocating to Australia in 2011, he has continued to push creative boundaries and develop new and innovative collaborations and partnerships. Robert co-curated the season of Australian dance and performance works for Culture 2014, The XXth Commonwealth Games Glasgow to wide critical acclaim.

In association with Arts House, Robert initiated In Your Hands, a three-year project with four teams of artists and app developers creating new hybrid art works exploring the potential of theatre on mobile devices in public space. With funding from the Australia Council for the Arts Robert co-created Vanitas, a Webby Nominated art work app for smartphones and cemeteries, which was nominated for The Webby Award for best Art and Experimental Mobile App in 2018 and Best Production and Innovation in Site-responsive Performance at the 2019 Green Room Awards.

Robert trained as a theatre maker at Dartington College of Arts (England) and as a technologist in The University of Glasgow’s Master of Science in Information Technology (Software and Systems) programme. From 2004-2011 Robert was the Lead Programmer for New Work Network (UK), creating the world’s first social networking site for artists. His PhD from the University of Melbourne explored the creative use of mobile computing in performance events.

Robert co-founded and was the co-artistic director of two theatre companies in Glasgow, Reader Performance Group and Fish & Game. In Higher Education he has held the leadership roles of Associate Head of Performance and Programme Leader BA Contemporary Performance Practice at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Head of Theatre and Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. In 2020 he is resident artist in the School of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne, in a year long secondment from VCA Theatre.

Robert uses his platform as an academic and artist to explore creative partnerships as pathways for the shared creation and dissemination of knowledge, enabling alternative conversations and creative solutions for the grand challenges and wicked problems of our times.

This website is a record of Robert’s projects since he moved to Australia in 2011.

Who am I?

I am an Australian immigrant from the United Kingdom, born in England but of Welsh, Scottish and Manx ancestry living and working in Naarm (Melbourne), the unceded land of the Boonwurung and Wurundjeri people of the Eastern Kulin Nation. I acknowledge, respect and seek to understand the 1000 generations of arts practice that has been danced, sung and shared in the place where I live. My pronouns are he, him and his.

Current Interests

  • Rehearsing and performing sustainable and equitable futures
  • Radical collaborations, the arts and ‘wicked’ problems, science and art
  • Queering, unlearning, decolonizing, resisting and enriching everyday life
  • Methods of imagining, knowing, collaborating, making, sensing and feeling
  • Immersion, interactivity, play and dreams
  • Fusing experimental performance, transmedia experience, live art and AI
  • Museums, mobile devices, participation and site-specific adventures
  • Animals, wilderness and space

What’s next?

I’m working on Child of Now, a new project about the mass imagining of the next century. I’m looking for collaborators expert in: demographics, futurology, smartphones and AR/Mixed Realities. If that’s you, or you want to know more, please get in touch.
I am also working on The Heart, a permanent installation built into the foyer of Melbourne Connect that combines live building data, Artificial Intelligence and a large volumetric display to reveal the pulse of the building and its community that will beat for at least the next 42 years.
I’m working with colleagues in the Melbourne Flight Lab on new projects exploring the creative use of autonomous, self-organising drone swarms.
I am facilitating the Collision Commission: a collaboration between laser and sound artist Robin Fox and a multi-disciplinary group of PhD students from around the University of Melbourne creating artwork for the opening of Science Gallery Melbourne.

In Development

Child of Now

Child of Now

AR, In Development, Mixed Reality (MR), Mobile, Original, Own Work, Performance, Show, Technology, VR

Bachelor of Arts with Honours

Theatre

Dartington College of Arts

Master of Science

Information Technology (Software and Systems)

University of Glasgow

Postgraduate Certificate

Learning and Teaching in Higher Arts Education

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Doctor of Philosophy

Overlooked Performances: Mobile Computing, Site-Responsive Arts Practice and the Spectral Dramaturgy of Vanitas

University of Melbourne

Robert works in the Theatre Department of The Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. During 2020 he is resident artist in the School of Computing and Information Systems in the Faculty of Engineering.

Robert Walton’s production attains the fluid potency of a fever-dream 
– The Age

A spine-tingling encounter
– The Guardian

A wholly new theatrical experience
– The List

The world’s first piece of iPad theatre. Eerie, unsettling and very, very clever.
– The Independent

An original and talented thinker and theatre-maker
– The Times

A brand new way of looking at the world
–  The Stage

Nominees like Robert Walton and Jason Maling (Vanitas) are setting the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet. It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the over 13,000 entries we received this year.
–  Claire Graves, Executive Director of The Webby Awards

Interviews